Beauty is a funny thing.

Beauty is a funny thing. Each morning I’d watch, fascinated, as she’d glide a perfect line of black liquid on her upper lids. Even as a pig-tailed pipsqueak I realized my mom really was beautiful.

Teenage years soon popped into our lives like a period pimple to the chin. Mornings and I were no longer friends. Cheerful mornings transformed to typical teenage terror. The bedroom door would fling open, the overhead light blasted and Mom’s normally calm voice turned screamo: “Get UP!!”

So I wasn’t so good at getting up. But once both teen eyes fully opened like a baby bird reaching maturity, I’d see Mom. Ready for work. And each morning she’d look stunning.

My kids have a different early morning view. I am not dressed nicely. I do not yet have on makeup. Rather, I am fresh-faced, hair piled atop my head, and am donning a snazzy black-and-white polka-dotted terry robe (which needs to be washed). While it was Mom’s beauty that startled me fully awake, for my kids, it’s reactive fear to my likeness as a walker.

But I’m a happy zombie-lookalike. I cook breakfast for my man, pack lunches for the teen boys, listen to the news, whip through a Spanish lesson, hop on the treadmill—and it’s all before my workday begins at 7:30 a.m. And to me, it’s all beautiful.

Beauty is a funny thing. It’s so much more than makeup. Than fashion. Than the newest trends. Beauty is about how we feel. It’s how we find and emit happiness. Beauty is laughter. It’s soul-enriching activities and relationships that make us smile.

And April is perfect for exploring spring beauty. The outdoors blooms loveliness, the sun shines more brilliantly, we lighten the clothing we wear— and our spirits just feel lighter. Happier. And we do, indeed, smile more. Think there’s a correlation? You bet there is.

Beauty is comedy. It’s how Vicky Lawrence helped define life humor, quietly shaping so many of us. I know it did me. There is no greater medicine than genuine laughter. How powerful is that?

Beauty is selflessness. It’s women like those in this issue’s “Sheroes” story. It’s what prompts a volunteer’s actions. Beauty is inner peace. It is healthy living. It’s taking care of our earth. Beauty is caring for ourselves, financially and physically.

And while my children may disagree, beauty is smiling in happiness and peace—even if the reflection likens a walker.

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